2 lb. juicy med. tomatoes (about 8)
3 garlic cloves, crushed
2 med. cucumbers, peeled, halved and seeded
1 Spanish or lg. red onion
1 lg. green bell pepper, cored, seeded and deribbed
2 c. bottled tomato juice
1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil
1/4 c. fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 sm. loaf Italian bread, crust removed, cut into 1/4 inch dice (or use boxed croutons)


Core 5 tomatoes and coarsely chop. In a blender, combine chopped tomatoes with 1 garlic clove. Puree until smooth. Strain puree into a non-metal bowl. Coarsely chop 1 cucumber, 1/2 onion, 1/2 green pepper. Add to blender with 1/2 tomato juice. Blend until liquified. Strain into the large bowl.

In the blender, combine remaining tomato juice with 6 tablespoons olive oil, 1 garlic clove, lemon juice, cayenne and salt. Blend until smooth. Strain into the large bowl. Cover and refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.

To serve: In a medium skillet, combine remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1 garlic clove with butter. Cook over moderate heat until butter stops foaming, 1 minute. Discard garlic. Add diced bread. Saute until crisp and golden, about 5 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Serve gazpacho in bowls, with diced vegetables and crouton sprinkled on top. 6 servings.